September 14, 2018
Men of Tomorrow: 15 Actors Who Could Play a New Superman
The big “S” on Superman’s chest might as well be a big question mark at this point.
Earlier this week, we learned that Henry Cavill was reportedly leaving the role of Clark Kent/Kal-El after playing the part in Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, and Justice League. While nothing has been officially announced (and Cavill himself is trolling away on social media), it’s a decision that makes sense. The DC superhero movies need a bit of a refresh, and a new Supes may be the way to do it.
So the /Film team sat down, put our heads together, and came up with a list of names. These are the actors we’d like to see suit up as the Man of Steel. Some are obvious, some are not. Some are likely, some are not. Most of them are completely honest choices and at least one of them is a total joke. But here are our 15 choices for the new Superman actor.
Michael B. Jordan
If you thought some fans were pissed about changing the race of comic book characters before, this one is really going to be a doozy. But honestly, there would be nothing better than having Michael B. Jordan playing The Big Blue Boy Scout. After all, he’s already seen superhero action as Johnny Storm in the failed Fantastic Four, not to mention Chronicle, and he’s totally ripped thanks to Creed. Beside the traditional heroics, Jordan has the demeanor and presence necessary for Superman.
But more importantly, Michael B. Jordan just played one of the best villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Black Panther, showing an intensity that would be interesting to see in Superman. Furthermore, there’s even a sequence where he has a little Clark Kent kind of moment, posing as a museum-goer with ulterior motives. But if you need to see how lighthearted he can be as the Daily Planet reporter, just check out his comedic performance in That Awkward Moment. (Ethan Anderton)
Many of Superman’s best stories are also great Clark Kent stories, and while Glen Powell may not instantly strike me as a typical nerd, I think he’d make one hell of a Clark. The relationship with Lois Lane is key, and Powell is quickly becoming a reliable rom-com star with performances in films like Set It Up and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. (I mean, let’s just go ahead and cast Zoey Deutch as Lois while we’re at it – she’d be great in that part.) Powell has a traditional All-American vibe to him that would work wonderfully for Clark – maybe he’s working as an intern at a modernized version of The Daily Planet, which is now a popular podcast or something. He could bulk up just a bit for the Superman part of the equation, and while many of his characters have had a mischievous twinkle in their eyes, I think he could drop that and instead project a sense of innate goodness as a new Man of Steel. (Ben Pearson)
As soon as Henry Golding flashes his mega-watt style at the camera in Crazy Rich Asians, you know you’re looking at a movie star. Golding’s journey from travel show host to in-demand leading man was an unexpected one to say the least. There are plenty of stories about his “discovery” — how he was referred by an accountant, how Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu fell in love with Golding’s Instagram, how he landed another major movie role immediately after his first film role ever. But all of them don’t get to the bottom of why Golding is such a heartthrob: it just comes natural. The half-Malaysian, half-British actor radiates an easy confidence that feels even more unvarnished because of his lack of an acting background — the perfect kind of home-grown authenticity you need in a Superman. There’s also a earnestness to him that matches Superman’s much more elusive alter ego, Clark Kent. Golding is already a real-life Superman and a leading man lying in wait — it’s time for him to shine. (Hoai-Tran Bui)
It’s easy to call Superman a boy scout, a goody-two-shoes, but that’s part of his appeal. Superman is the greatest superhero of all time because he has unlimited power but chooses to be a good, a decent person who always does the right thing. And it’s easy to imagine John Krasinksi “Aw, shucks”-ing his way into those blue tights and red cape like a pro. The former The Office star has spent years trying to shake off his goofy comedic persona and he’s proven himself to be a thrilling presence behind the camera and in front of it. So it’s time for him to be a superhero and few characters will make better use of his classical good looks and inherent all-American wholesomeness. Krasinski may no longer play dorks, but that side of him would make him a perfect Supes – the awkward Kansas kid with the power of a god. (Jacob Hall)
It’s a crying shame that the only true American hero that Armie Hammer has played is The Lone Ranger. However, there was a time when Armie Hammer was slated to play another DC Comics character. Back when George Miller was working on a Justice League movie, way before the start of the DC Extended Universe, Armie Hammer was going to be Batman. Unfortunately, the project never got off the ground. But why not let Armie Hammer have another crack at DC Comics glory?
It’s not hard to imagine him as both Clark Kent and Superman. Armie Hammer is charming and affable and would have no problem tapping into the more awkward and goofy side of Clark Kent. Meanwhile, he also has a commanding presence, as we’ve seen in the likes of The Social Network and The Man from UNCLE (co-starring Henry Cavill), and he could easily put on the cape to play the version of Superman fans have wanted to see realized for years. Plus, maybe one day Timothee Chalamet can come in and play Jimmy Olsen, and there can be this weird sexual tension between him and Superman all the time. (Ethan Anderton)
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